Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stuffed Peppers

Today I'm going to share a SUPER yummy dinner that I made last night and the best part was that it only took 20 minutes! Which for a working mama of three that is key!

I decided that this week I'm going to ONLY make recipes that I have pinned! I feel like I'm always finding yummy recipes and I NEVER MAKE THEM! so for the first night I made Sausage, Goat Cheese, and Arugula stuffed Peppers. Via
I did make a few tweaks however... I added more sausage & more goat cheese then the original recipe called for.


  • 3 medium Red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Package (5 links) sausage of your choice, casings removed
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • 2 large handfuls of arugula (about 1½ ounces)
  • Salt, pepper and/or red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1½ tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • Heat oven to 400ยบ.
  • Place the peppers on a baking sheet and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until it browns, crumbling with a wooden spoon as it cooks. (If needed, drain the sausage before continuing.)
  • Once the sausage has browned, reduce heat to low and stir in the arugula and goat cheese until the cheese has melted and the arugula is wilted. Taste and add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, if desired.

  • Spoon the filling into the peppers and sprinkle each half with Parmesan.

  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the peppers have softened slightly. Serve immediately.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Prayers are needed

My heart is just broken today and I reach out to everyone for big prayers for my dear family. A few people have made comments about my frequent, as of late, visits to Savannah... and the reason for such visits were to spend as much time as possible with my big brother Alan and his AMAZING family.

Today my brother will be checking into a Federal Prison Camp for the next few years as a result of a white collar crime that was committed 5+ years ago. He has been sentenced to 38 months and as a husband and father of two young children THAT IS A LONG TIME. With "good behavior" he should get out earlier but still it is going to be a tough road.

Fortunately, he will be near his hometown so visits can be made in a weekly basis and it is a minimum security camp as opposed to a higher security facility. Even with frequent visits though this will be a HUGE adjustment for him and I know that tonight will be a hard one as he will be alone in his new reality.

My heart breaks the most today though for his wife and children. This sentence is also ultimately a huge punishment for them. With a minimum of two years without their loved one they will likely be changed forever from this experience. The sentence also means that they will be transitioning to a single paycheck household on a teachers salary...

Our family has really come together during this time and we are doing everything that we can do to be there for them. When standing outside of the courthouse immediately following the sentencing my first reaction was that I needed to move to Savannah to be their for my sister-in-law and the two children... Matt quickly made me see that it would be unrealistic to move so instead I've requested two days every month that he is away so that I can make the trip to Savannah and help the family for 4 days.

Both my brother and Sister-in-law have repeated the statement that they will not allow for this experience to define their entire lives and I agree 100% the judge said it perfectly “You have done good in your life and will in the future." We just need big prayers to get through the next few years.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thrifted Thursday #3

I'm so excited to share another great thrift store find! A few weeks ago at my local Salvation Army I spotted this little gem for only $4.99

The table was originally from target and looked a little rough around the edges but I knew that this would be the perfect side table for little Elijah's nursery. All it needed was some gray spray paint

and light blue paint on the top! (had all materials on hand)

I cannot wait for this to go by the chair in his nursery! What an easy update at a GREAT price!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hunter at 22 Months

I need a pause button in my life right now! At 22 months Hunter is just so darn cute and I really want to just keep him this age (well except when he is throwing a fit). Actually tantrums and all I will take it!

His vocabulary is just growing by leaps and bounds every day. If fact over the weekend he learned how to say "Spiderman" of course it sounds like "byeman" or "myman" SUPER CUTE!

Here are some highlights:
  • 16 teeth WOW!!! Hunter went from 8 teeth to 16 in two months.  
  • Loves to brush his hair
  • Can sit for an hour and pour water from one cup into another. This boy is going to be an engineer.
  • Still loves being both a big and little brother. He absolutely adores his siblings.
  • When he falls down he will typically get right back up with a big old smile. Park boys are tough! No crying in this family.
  • First words each morning continue to be waff and if we toast anything the second he hears that thing pop up he runs into the kitchen screaming WAFFFFF
  • Is very good at utilizing a spoon to eat his yogurt in the mornings.
  • The only way we can get him to eat dinner is if we put only two bites of something on his plate once he tries it he is game for a whole plate... but it you fill his plate from the start he will NOT EVEN TRY IT! what an odd little man.
  • Loves tickles from his daddy and being thrown in the air
  • He is a pro at making animal noises
  • Just started liking puzzles
  • Still enjoys bath time but he WILL NOT sit down in the tub. He is terrified if we try to get him to sit and will just scream and scream. It breaks my heart to hear.
  • He has a special bond with Sophie. She is so patient with him as he climbs all over the poor girl!
Here are some photos from the last two months.. since I was a slacker and didn't post last month.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Working mama update

I've now made it through 2.5 weeks of working full-time. It has been a difficult adjustment but I was happy that the first week was so crazy busy because it caused me to really jump back in with both feet!

I love coming home to this though each day!!!!

I call my mom as soon as I leave the Pentagon.. she opens the front door and Hunter is always standing there waiting for my arrival! He is such a cutie!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Stitch Fix #2

Yesterday when I got home this was waiting for me...

I was so excited to get my monthly Stitch Fix Box!!! As I opened the box I saw pops of color peeking out of the edges of the tissue paper and I just knew that this was going to be a good box!

Here is the note from my stylist of the month...

I had a different stylist for this box which I have mixed feelings about... I read on a few blogs that people have the same stylist over and over which I kind of like because they can really get a feel for what you are looking for and what your comfort level is.. but I guess it is also good to mix it up because you get a fresh perspective and something new...

The box included a necklace, jeans, a dress, and two tank tops...

Here they are on... please excuse the horrible photos! I clearly fail at selfies!

Dress- 41Hawthorn Yellow Lex Textured Floral Knit Fit & Flare Dress

The color is very neon yellow with a gray pattern. Matt liked it a lot but I'm thinking that I'm too pale to pull this one off. The fabric also is a bit odd and doesn't hold it's shape very well. Kind of looks cheap. Not a fan.

Jeans - Kensie Tall Skinny Jeans 
Tank - Eight Sixty - Kalea Watercolor Print Zip Detail Blouse

I also tried the tank with a skirt for work

I'm a HUGE fan of the jeans!!! love love love!!! They are just a little too tight at the moment but I'm still in the process of shedding the pounds so I"m not too worried. I like how they are so long and bunch a little around the ankles. 

I also like this top a lot. the zipper will make it easy to feed and I love that it has so many colors so it will go with ANYTHING. Casual or dressy I think this is a win.

Jeans - Kensie Tall Skinny Jeans 
Tank - Kut from The Kloth- Cranston Cross Front Razerback Blouse
Necklace- Bay to Baubles 

Jeans are the same as above... 

The White Tank seems a little too boxy for me but I do like the crossing of the fabric in the front. Matt loves it sooo... 

Necklace seems super cheap and I've gotten nicer from Target recently 


Necklace: $34
Jeans: $88
Stripe Tank: $78
White Tank: $58
Dress: $74

TOTAL: 332
 I'm for sure not going to get everything... I know that I am going to pass on the dress and necklace but I will purchase the jeans! 

What are the votes on the two tank tops?

Want to try Stitch Fix??? I highly recommend Here is some additional Info

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July Goals

How is it possible that the year is already halfway over???

Here are my goals for the month:

Loose 5 lbs... want to loose another 5 lbs through better eating habits and moderate exercise.

Run 3 miles w/out walking... Still plan on doing the Army 10 miler in October!

Finish Gibson's Room... poor guy still sleeps in a crib without custom bedding... It is practically child abuse.

Throw a baby shower for my girl Krista! Cannot wait to throw a shower to celebrate the pending arrival of little Elijah. I'm also helping with the design of his nursery.

Birch Event and Design Website... hope to get this up and running. I have the site designed and language written. I just need to go through photos and get those loaded.

Get Emma ready for Camp... Emma will be heading off to camp for two weeks mid-month and I have a TON that will need to get done before she departs for GA.

FINISH THE FREAKING PLAYROOM! So this is on the list AGAIN to complete... I swear I will get it done by August! I will not let this room defeat me for an entire year!!!

Finish Basement Bathroom. Need to just do crown molding and tile in here and it will be done!

Work out at least 4 times a week.

Paint Upper level doors... We replaced all of the doors in our house about 2 years ago and they have remained the off white color that they come in... I REALLY want to get them all painted by the baby shower for Krista.

Finally take some family photos... it is really sad to think that Gibson is 3 months old already and we do not even have ONE family photo as a family of 5! Hope to get done soonest!

This is a LONG list but it involves a lot of help from Matt... He will be the one to spray the doors and when he does so I'm also going to have him do the crown molding for the bathroom and book ledges for the playroom... He will also play a BIG part in getting my website up and running. Fingers crossed he has a productive month as well